The NY Jets selected a new franchise quarterback in this seven-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
The NY Jets are 0-8 at the time of writing heading into a Week 9 matchup with the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. But rather than looking ahead to the game, fans are thinking about anything and everything else.
The season has been a lost one for quite some time now. The coaching staff won’t be here next year and the same is true for the vast majority of the roster.
As such, fans are just counting down the days until the 2020 season comes to an end. Instead of thinking about the season, most have their minds on what should be a very exciting offseason for Gang Green.
This is especially true in regard to the 2021 NFL Draft. To put things in perspective, this is already the third 2021 NFL Mock Draft that we have done this year and it’s only the beginning of November.
But when you’re 0-8 with nothing to look forward to, you have to search for optimism wherever you could find it.
The Jets have nine picks at the moment including six that will fall in the top-102 picks if the draft order was finalized today. General manager Joe Douglas will have plenty of draft capital at his disposal to turn the fortunes of the organization around.
Once again, we utilized The Draft Network’s “Mock Machine” to run a hypothetical scenario of how this team’s draft could play out. So if you have any complaints about a player being drafted at a certain spot, don’t blame us, blame the mock machine.
Let’s take a look at our results.
Next: 1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
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Round 1, 1st Overall, NY Jets: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
This pick isn’t going to change anytime soon. As long as the Jets are still projected to have the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft, we’re going to project them Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence because that’s exactly who they’d take.
Sam Darnold hasn’t shown enough now in his third NFL season to convince the Jets that he is the future at the position. It doesn’t matter that he’s been dealt an unfair hand — the NFL waits for no one.
Especially when you have a generational talent at quarterback possibly falling into your laps in the draft. Lawrence is the most high-profile quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck and is considered one of the most talented in recent memory.
Possessing elite athleticism, arm talent, and processing abilities, Lawrence has few weaknesses and looks poised to become the next NFL superstar. He’s done it all in his college career as a multi-time conference champion and 2018 CFP National Champion.
If the Jets land the top pick in the draft, it will officially mark the start of the Trevor Lawrence era in New York — provided he declares. This will continue to be an easy pick.
Next: 2. Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
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Round 1, 31st Overall, NY Jets: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
There will be a lot of conversation about what the Jets should do with this pick. We were eyeing a wide receiver or interior offensive lineman, but with many of the top options off the board, Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes was an excellent consolation prize.
Stokes is a physical outside corner with great size and length. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Stokes has prototypical measurements for the position and he’s excelled in press coverage during his time at Georgia.
But unlike many cornerbacks his size, Stokes can move. The 21-year-old was a former high school track star who has been unofficially clocked running the 40-yard dash in the 4.30 range. That’s utterly absurd for a guy his size.
His ball skills still need some work and he needs to be more patient at the top of routes as opposed to flipping his hips and bailing, but the foundation is there for a true No. 1 cornerback at the NFL level.
Stokes is a bonafide Day 1 player and expect him to solidify that over the next couple of months.
Next: 3. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
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Round 2, 33rd Overall, NY Jets: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Jets will need to completely overhaul the wide receiver position in the offseason — or at least provide a major boost. And Ohio State’s Chris Olave could be an ideal target early on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
After taking Denzel Mims in the second round last year, we have the Jets addressing wide receiver again here in Round 2, albeit with a very different type of player.
Standing at 6-foot, 185 pounds, Olave’s calling card is his silky-smooth route-running that gives him a very high NFL floor. He runs a diverse route tree at Ohio State and has impressive body control, especially when working toward the sideline.
Not the most dynamic athlete, Olave wins on nuance and finesse, but isn’t afraid to make the occasional catch in traffic.
With a strong season as a featured target in 2020, Olave could climb up draft boards and enter the first-round conversation. But the Jets are fortunate enough to land him with the first pick in the second round in this scenario.
Next: 4. Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
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Round 3, 65th Overall, NY Jets: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
The Jets have been searching for a dynamic pass-rusher for what feels like forever now. And if you’re looking for an edge rusher in this class with elite upside then look no further than Penn State’s Jayson Oweh.
Oweh is a legitimate athletic freak with all the tools to be an All-Pro at the next level. A twitched-up super athlete, Oweh is understandably rough raw around the edges and his draft position will largely depend on his production in 2020.
If he refines his game and becomes a more consistent contributor, he might hear his name called on Day 1. But in this scenario, his talent was too much to pass on early in Round 3.
Oweh’s first-step quickness jumps out immediately and at 6-foot-5, 257 pounds, he has plenty of length to make life very difficult for opposing offensive tackles.
Improving his run defense and becoming a more consistent pass-rusher are two things he must work on, but the sky is the limit for Oweh if he could put it all together.
Simply too much talent to pass on here — especially at a major need.
Next: 5. Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama
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Round 3, 94th Overall, NY Jets: Landon Dickerson, iOL, Alabama
Ideally, the Jets would have addressed the offensive line earlier. But sometimes, you have to draft the way the board falls. And in this case, we made sure to snatch up a pretty solid offensive line prospect in Alabama’s Landon Dickerson.
Dickerson has experience playing both center and right guard having most recently played the former for the Crimson Tide. The biggest knock on Dickerson is his lack of scheme versatility,
The 22-year-old isn’t the most athletic lineman which makes pulling and getting into the second level a challenge. He’s at his best when asked to bulldoze the player in front of him — something he does quite well.
He’s also a refined pass-blocker meaning that he won’t be a liability there. This pick is dependent on the Jets running a more power-run offense as opposed to a zone-heavy approach.
Think more Minnesota Vikings and less San Francisco 49ers.
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Dickerson could ideally step in for Greg Van Roten at right guard, perhaps as soon as his rookie season. Provided he develops, that would allow Cameron Clark to hopefully assume the long-term starting left guard role.
The Alabama product is a worthwhile target here in the third round as someone who should be a starter in the NFL for a long time.
Next: 6. Journey Brown, RB, Penn State
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Round 4, 102nd Overall, NY Jets: Journey Brown, RB, Penn State
The Jets will need to address the running game in some way this offseason. Rookie La’Mical Perine figures to feature in the running back rotation next year in some way, but he will need at least one or two complements alongside him.
That’s why we opted to draft Penn State’s Journey Brown here in Round 4. Brown is an interesting prospect in that it’s currently unclear what his status will be going into the draft.
Many saw him as a top-five running back in this class and someone who could work into Day 2 territory. But an undisclosed medical condition might keep him sidelined for his entire junior season.
It’s very possible he returns to school. But if he doesn’t, he makes a ton of sense for the Jets at this spot.
At 5-foot-11, 216 pounds, Brown is a dynamic athlete who reportedly ran a 4.29 at Penn State. While unpolished as a runner, Brown has all the physical tools to be a three-down back at the next level.
Consider the fact that he was backing up the likes of Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders before taking his opportunity and literally and figuratively running with it.
It’s unclear what his future holds, but if he enters the draft, he’s certainly someone to keep a close eye on.
Next: 7. Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
NY Jets [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]
Round 5, 141st Overall, NY Jets: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida
The Jets need playmakers on offense. And there is arguably no more explosive, dynamic, and exciting playmaker in college football right now than Florida’s Kadarius Toney.
Originally a quarterback, the Gators decided that it would be best for Toney to switch positions to best utilize his immense athleticism. As a result, he’s seen snaps at everything from wide receiver to running back to even Wildcat quarterback.
He’s done it all. And defenses haven’t had much of an answer for him.
Of course, the biggest drawback to his game will be the lack of a defined position. He’s probably best suited as a developmental receiver in the NFL who could make an immediate impact on gadget plays.
But labeling him as “just a gadget player” would be severely underselling his skill set. Few players in the country are as dangerous with the ball in their hands as Toney and it legitimately feels as if he can take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
Play him as a returner, use him on screens, or hand him the ball on jet sweeps. Just give him the football and magic will ensue.
The Jets need playmakers on offense. And Kadarius Toney is the definition of a playmaker.
Next: 8. Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB
Round 5, 142nd Overall, NY Jets: Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB
Jordan Smith is a player who could shoot up draft boards this year if he can put together a strong junior season at UAB. But as it stands now, he’s one of the most intriguing mid-round pass-rusher prospects in the class.
Originally a four-star recruit for Florida, Smith was suspended from the program in 2017 along with a handful of teammates for his part in a credit fraud scam.
From there, he opted to leave the school and spend a year at Butler Community College in Kansas where he, expectedly, dominated his competition racking up 77 tackles (22.5 for loss), 11 sacks, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble in 12 games.
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Smith would return to the FBS level signing with UAB in 2019 and he quickly made an immediate impact once again. The Georgia native tallied eight sacks and three forced fumbles as a redshirt sophomore putting his name on the map.
At 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, Smith is a mountain of a human being who possesses elite length and athleticism. He’s comparable to former UTSA star turned first-round pick Marcus Davenport in both size and potential.
Davenport is finally starting to put it all together with the Saints. Perhaps that could be Smith a few years down the line.
Either way, he’s excellent value here in Round 5 as the Jets land their second pass-rusher with elite upside in the same draft.
Next: 9. Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
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Round 6, 186th Overall, NY Jets: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
With the final pick in our 2021 NFL Mock Draft, we decided to give the Jets a little additional offensive line depth selecting Wisconsin offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen.
Van Lanen comes from a long line of Wisconsin offensive linemen to make the jump to the NFL. While he likely won’t be as high-profile as many of his fellow alumni, he does possess the traits to develop into a starting-caliber player down the line.
At 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, Van Lanen has prototypical size for the position and he has experience playing both left and right tackle. He possesses raw power that allows him to be a force in the run game — something that should allow him to play early if necessary.
Despite his height, Van Lanen has relatively short arms and his reach is a concern at the next level. Perhaps a move inside to guard could benefit him, that way he will be protected from being put on an island against some of the better speed rushers in the league.
Nonetheless, while not the most natural athlete, Van Lanen is mobile enough to get up into the second level and lead block — even if it isn’t the strongest aspect of his game.
Van Lanen projects as a swing tackle who could boost his draft stock if he shows he can be effective at guard in the NFL. But with his already strong run-blocking traits, there’s potential for him to develop into a starter down the line.
A good way to close out the draft by addressing another significant need.